Photo by Ashley Martella @Ashley Martella Photography
Hello! Welcome to The Honest Crumb! My name is Kaitlin and I am excited to share my recipes, tips and favorite products with you.
I am a Nurse Practitioner by trade, but baking is my true passion. I love the way I feel when I am in the kitchen, and would spend all my time there if I could! My current nursing career keeps me busy throughout the week, but I do my best to reserve Sunday for baking. It is my absolute favorite day of the week. I am incredibly blessed with amazing family and friends who inspire me, and are the power behind my recipe creations. I am originally from Dublin, OH but moved to a suburb of Indianapolis as a young child. A couple of years ago I relocated to New Castle, IN to be closer to my boyfriend of 3 years. I had never been exposed to “country living”, but am happy to say I cannot get enough of it. The plethora of horses, donkeys, goats, amazing sunsets and sunrises, open space, beautiful trees, peace and serenity (I could go on and on…) will never get old. You can say I am, and always will be, an unexpected county girl :).
I began baking and cooking more regularly my senior year of college to help render all the poor college food choices I made. I had experienced years of pizza, tacos and beer and knew I could do better. I began reading food labels…which by the way, can be a very eye opening experience! I started paying attention to additives and preservatives, and eliminating foods and products potentially harmful to my health. After changing my food choices, I slowly noticed improvements in my energy level, mental clarity, and even my skin. My headaches improved greatly along with intermittent feelings of anxiety. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the autoimmune form of hypothyroidism, at age 16, but did not know until years later I could help my thyroid and reduce my antibodies through my diet. For this reason, many of my recipes are gluten-free, but I provide easy substitutions for those who do not need to be gluten-free. I absolutely still eat gluten socially on occasion, but do my best to limit it in my own kitchen.
After experiencing the positive effects from altering my food choices and spending time in the kitchen, I knew this would be a lifelong change for me. When I am in the kitchen I feel myself go to my happy place:). While baking I do not feel stress or the pressures we all feel from everyday life, rather cozy and content. It puts me at ease and allows me to let my creative juices flow! I can also give baking some credit in my love life….I think my muffins helped keep my boyfriend around for the long haul. I will be forever grateful to my muffins because he is absolutely amazing <3.
I think we all have days where we just want, or need :), a cupcake, and other days a light zucchini brownie or a piece of dark chocolate. I absolutely believe in the power of balance, rather than restricting yourself of the foods you desire. I try to find ways to use healthy fats and natural sugars to replace ingredients lacking nutritional value in recipes to help ensure you do not feel you are settling. I by no means claim to be a low-calorie, “skinny”, “light”, etc. baker, but do have some recipes you could categorize this way. On the flip side, many of my recipes are not low-fat…I absolutely use butter and sugar, and love it :)! When I do, I ensure I do not use it in excess, and that the ingredients I use are free of chemicals or preservatives. I make a point to chose the best products with the highest nutritional value I can. I offer recipes you may bake for an upcoming party, aka crowd-pleasers, but also healthy dessert recipes you can make for yourself for breakfast, after a workout, or a light weeknight dessert. I have a balance of indulgent and lighter recipes within my blog because I feel that’s how life should be – a balance! I will absolutely never swear off a rich, fudgy brownie, rather enjoy it in moderation. But…sometimes if you’re just having a moment…or a day…or a week where you need not one, rather a whole pan of brownies, I still have a recipe for you :). We are all human…we’ve all been there :).
After college I continued to bake and experiment with clean ingredients, as well as gluten free recipes. I began to share my creations with family and friends, and over time began to receive requests for my baked goods at their next party or gathering. I have done various parties and events, sold to a local coffee shop in my home town, and wine bar in New Castle, IN where I currently live. I feel incredibly blessed to be able to share my passion with my family, friends and community. I simply cannot get enough of the feeling I experience when watching someone taste something I made, and actually love it! It makes me feel so good to know something I created made someone happy, and more importantly did not harm them on the inside.
I hope recipes from my blog are created again in your kitchen, and shared with your friends and family. I truly feel food tastes different when made in a kitchen filled with love, and want to help spread as much love as I can! I want you all to enjoy the amazing feeling of watching someone bite into something you made and see a huge smile (sometimes one full of chocolate-y teeth) spread across their face. To me it does not get much better than that.
Happy baking and thank you for visiting!
P.S. I would love to hear from you in recipe comments or privately. If you have a question, never hesitate to ask! I have linked many of my favorite baking products on a separate “baking products” page in case you would like to know what I use personally. I have also linked or listed the source from recipes if I use a recipe created by another baker. I have some tried and true favorites from other amazing bakers I felt I definitely needed to share with you. If I make changes I make sure to mention this in the post also.